Friday, August 24, 2007

Scratching the Surface - Gales - View

Scratch the surface of "new" Gordon Brown and you find exactly the same grisly product that has presided in tandem with Tony Blair of the last ten years of the decline of the United Kingdom. And nowhere is that more true than in the case of the "new" European Constitution.

When I referred, in the House of Commons, to the "Constitutional Treaty" I was told sharply by the Leader of the House, Chairman of the Labour Party and Frau Valdemort of the Palace of Westminster, Ms. Harman, that it was "not a constitution" and that clearly my translation was at fault.

My translation? The fact is that although the House is due to discuss this re-hashed European Constitution in October and although the Projet de Traite modifiant le Traite sur L`union Europeenne et leTraite Instituant la Communaute Europeenne ((Or the Draft Treaty modifying the treaty on the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, to give its exciting title in English) was published in July it was published only in French and was not readily available in the House of Commons.

French is not my first language and European Community Brussels French is not anyone's first language but, as the Government was clearly so determined that Members of Parliament should not see it I persuaded the ever obliging House of Commons Library to obtain and photocopy the French text for me. I have now struggled through this turgid prose in its original form even though it has subsequently escaped in something approximating English. Harry Potter it is not, but full of evil things and dark spells it most certainly is.

What is more important is that notwithstanding the protestations of the goodly Frau Valdemort it is the European Constitution writ large and with only minor modifications and under another name.

The Irish Prime Minister has said that ninety per cent of the Constitution remains in the Constitutional Treaty and the Spanish Prime Minister has said that ninety-eight per cent of it remains. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has acknowledged that "the fundamentals of the Constitution have been maintained in large part" and the Danish Prime Minister has said that "all the symbolic elements are gone - and that which really matters, the core, is left". European Officials have scarcely been able to contain their glee and their mirth at the fact that the European Council of Ministers has taken this regurgitated offering hook, line and sinker. Mr. Brown, however, the Prime Minister of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, tells the House of Commons that "we have secured our negotiating objective"!

Well, Mr.Brown, you may have secured your own "negotiating objective" but you have not secured mine! As the Constitutional Treaty stands the EU will have a President to set the Agenda, not on a rotating basis as at present but for a fixed and much longer term. (A future sinecure for Mr, Blair?). The EU will have a Foreign Minister in all but name and a legal system that would enshrine the supremacy of European law over British law. Immediately, our national right of veto would be abolished in sixty areas of competence with a further power for the EU to extend this to cover everything except defence. Make no mistake: this constitutional treaty provides the framework, in a way that no previous treaty has done, for a future Federal United States of Europe.

In Mr. Brown's last election manifesto he said that "We will put the European Constitution to the British People in a referendum" and Ex-Prime Minister Blair said that "what you can't do is have a situation where you get a rejection of the treaty and then bring it back with a few amendments and say we'll have another go". That, of course, is very precisely what is happening. This is an issue that is too fundamental for government or even parliament to decide. The British people must be given the right to vote that Gordon Brown seeks to deny them


Anonymous said...

I hope Roger Gale and the Conservatives will stick with this fundamental issue. The arrogance of the the EU ruling class is intolerable. If the 'electorate' are stupid enough to vote 'NO' then ignore the democratic process and continue on the same course? We will shortly have the dictatorship not of one person but a whole arrogant administrative class based in Brussels who have long forgotten the basic tenets of a democracy.

Cllr David Green said...

Dont you think referenda are so....well "European"? British tradition of good old representative democracy in the House of Commons is much more like it!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps cllr Green will enlighten us as to who elected the European Commission?

Anonymous said...

Ansolutely spot on Cllr Green in regard to the wholesome British tradition of representative democracy in Parliament; its just a pity that your party, in particular, have abused and weakened such a fine institution.

Anonymous said...

I am not well enough informed on the treaty, the pros and its cons, to vote on it and I do not mean condensing it to a few soundbytes.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I think the first Anon. has got it right. We our losing our country by stealth and the British people don't even realize it.

We don't need a referendum we need out of the profoundly undemocratic and evil EU.

(I wasted my breath in a certain London constituency in 2005. People didn't care then and they don't care now)

New Zealand awaits?

Ken Gregory said...

forgive me for rpeating myself, but when i voted to join the Common Market it was precisely that, a common market. Now, it seems, Cllr Green and his fellow Labour supporters, see it as a means of political union.

I do not mind a Common Market, it helps us all, but I will fight to the death a political union. Each country has its own right of legal and political determination. If that were not so the world would be an awful homogenised place (a bit like green top milk)

Anonymous said...

This “Treaty” is, as Roger Gale correctly points out, nothing more than an attempt to slip the rejected EU Constitution in via the back door, and in flagrant breach of government manifesto pledges to put it to a referendum of the British people.

They did not have the guts to do so, after the full Constitution was overwhelmingly rejected by that famously pro-EU country, France (or, rather, its people).

Now we are told by Culpability Brown that the proper place to do this is in Parliament, and without reference to the people. I congratulate those involved in the growing revolt on Labour’s back benches, who have the courage to speak out against such a move. Not only has the Labour government done more than any other in history to abuse and reduce Parliamentary process in favour of a presidential style, but it now appears to be quite happy to go against its own stated policies.

Nothing new there, then. Come on, the dwindling band of democrats on Labour benches, as rise up against this.

Calling something a “Treaty” when it is, quite simply, the rejected Constitution in a party frock does not alter the effects it will have.

I am in favour of a free trade zone, labour mobility, and co-operation in Europe (The Common Market) provided the table is level. It never was, and remains drastically tilted now. Handing over significant powers over (to name but one) judicial process to largely un-elected and unaccountable Eurocrats is insane. Above all, why should we need to?

Cllr Ewen Cameron

Anonymous said...

Ken Gregory, you're not so niave to understand that whatever gets voted in, whether it is a new piece of legislation or whatever, it will evolve into something else or be used for something other than its intended purpose. The Common Market was 30 years a go, we've moved on.
Jeremy Jacobs, with ridiculous statements like 'undemocratic and evil EU' I would not vote for you, next time save your breath and spend amonth on holiday instead of canvassing. Yours is a knee jerk infantile reaction to the EU.
I'm British and I dislike a lot of my countrymen (maybe the French part of me dislikes them) for their 'thrash 'em and teach 'em' attitude, one that stems from an isolated island mentaility. The same sort of attitude that sent thousands to their death in WW1 and continues to send men and women to their deaths in wars we don't care about today. Break up the UK, we have more in common with Calais in Thanet than with Surrey.

Anonymous said...

Your view of history and the evolution of the EU is rudimentary 4.46. What you fail to realise is that a great many of your countrymen and women feel that what they were happy about with the EEC has evolved, without their approval or consultation or consent, into an EU that has , with the willing compliance of our own political elite, superceeded our own elected Parliament. Historically, as an Englishmen, I have more in common with the Scots, Welsh and Irish than with the French. As for breaking up the UK am I not correct in asserting that despite the wishes of the majority in The UK, the small minority of Scots and Welsh have been allowed to 'devolve' and that Labour tried to break up England into 'regions'. If you feel you have more in common with the residents of Calais than your fellow Countrymen then go to Calais and I wish you the very best!

James Maskell said...

Anon 9:50 makes a very good point. As much as some people on this site may not like it, the vast majority had said yes to the Constitution. As Open Europe has pointed out after analysing both the Reform treaty and the failed Constitution, there is over 90% of the content matching. Before any referendum can be held there needs to be a period of time for the public to be told independently of what the Treaty would mean. Both Europhiles and Eurosceptics are guilty of exaggerating the impact this will have. Until the full facts can be explained, a referendum would be pointless.

As for the comment on parliamentary democracy, no party can possibly claim the moral highground on the effectiveness of their MPs. I feel slightly awkward about the idea of MPs making the call on the treaty alone, because all too often votes in Parliament are based not on what is in front of them, but for a range of other reasons. Of course referenda can be the same but as long as the treaty is explained properly, why should we mistrust the public?

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Anonymous said about me:

"Jeremy Jacobs, with ridiculous statements like 'undemocratic and evil EU' I would not vote for you, next time save your breath and spend amonth on holiday instead of canvassing".

So Anonymous, explain how the EU is not undemocratic? You're the Naive one not Cllr. Gregory or me.

Cllr David Green said...

Head of State
UK The Queen (Totally unelected)
Prime Minister (appointed by Queen)
EU President (Maybe,elected by Countries)
UK Cabinet (appointed by Prime Minister)
EU European Commission (Appointed by Counties)
UK Parliament (part elected, part appointed (still!))
EU Parliament (elected)

Get real gentlemen, the major decision about how Southern & Western Europe would be run was decided in 1945.
Similarly for Northern & Eastern Europe with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
All that remains to be done is to improve the democratic accountability. This has nothing to do with cultural preservation, just practical politics and economics. How to cope with the USA, China and the Islamic States is the real political challenge.
vive la difference!

Anonymous said...

Cllr Green;

Hum – improving “democratic accountability” – I feel a George Orwell moment here;

As a Conservative, I am heartened to see the number of your Labour Parliamentary colleagues who are as upset as I am with this U-turn on manifesto policy has now grown to 120. Credit is due to them.

I’m grateful for your list of UK constitutional offices, but perhaps the below is closer to the truth;

Head of State

UK The Queen (Totally unelected, but powers effectively limited to nearly nil as a Constitutional Monarch. Influence and respect is, of course, another matter)

Prime Minister (appointed by Queen, in theory, but, in practice, elected* by the British people).

*Except Mr G Brown, naturally

EU President (Maybe, elected by Countries, but then again, usually not. “Horse trading” springs to mind)


UK Cabinet (appointed by Prime Minister – with a pretty clear mandate from the Electorate to execute manifesto policy, and all can be fired on the spot)

EU European Commission (Appointed by Countries – nice theory, but in practice a good place to park party seniors on a jolly good salary. Plus expenses)


UK Parliament “part elected, part appointed (still!)” – er – no – the legislative body is the Houses of Parliament. The Lords is a review body only – and a fairly effective one). If anyone comes up with a better system, I am all ears.

EU Parliament (elected – granted, but what does it actually do?)

The simple point is that this treaty – even according to those that support is, is lock, stock and barrel the EU Constitution under another name. Labour promised to put it to a referendum. Now they are getting all coy about it.

Very disappointing.

Very typical

Cllr Ewen Cameron

Ken Gregory said...

Years ago, when just a trade union official, I saw comming ant attempt to take over the Labour Party by extreme left wingers, called 'Militant tendancy'.

That was the secondary reason I left the party.

I am 'middle of the road' and see the labour party 'lurching to the left' as seen by the previous posts.

Its no good saying that the country must 'move with the times' The country must move with its electorate. Give us an election and we can tell the politicians where to move forward on europe, and where to move back.